Water Street Tampa: Pioneering WELL Community Certification in North America

Water Street Tampa | SPP

Many people aspire to live in a neighborhood or community that promotes wellness, with pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, sustainable features, and high safety ratings. The International WELL Building Institute (IWBI), a leading corporation in fostering neighborhoods promoting overall health, acknowledged Water Street Tampa, a massive mixed-use district in the heart of Tampa’s business district, for its thoughtful policy and design strategies that drive health and well-being across all aspects of the community. 

Shortly after IWBI recognized Water Street Tampa as the world’s first neighborhood to pilot the WELL Community Standard in 2017, the institute awarded the enclave the WELL Community Certification at the Gold level in September 2023. This achievement made it the first North American community to receive this honor. 

Nestled along the Tampa Bay waterfront, this multi-billion-dollar new development spans 56 acres across the Central Business District and waterfront. In addition to having residential, commercial, and mixed-use buildings, Water Street Tampa also offers delicious dining destinations, public art installations, and pedestrian-friendly design. The neighborhood is the product of the Tampa-based real estate development firm Strategic Property Partners, LLC (SPP). 

Public Art | SPP

IWBI considered many scientific and evidence-based factors before awarding Water Street Tampa with the WELL Community Certification. Its process involves evaluating communities that make policy and design-based decisions aimed at improving resident and visitor well-being. IWBI takes into account community characteristics related to water, thermal comfort, movement, light, and more. 

Sparkman Wharf | SPP

While a select few communities worldwide have earned the WELL Community Certification at the Gold level from the IWBI, Water Street is the first in North America, which reflects the community’s innovative design. Communities with this certification typically host happier, more productive, and healthier residents. 

Sparkman Wharf | SPP

Water Street earned this prestigious award through its unwavering dedication to the health and well-being of its residents. This is reflected in the neighborhood’s meticulously designed infrastructure and community-oriented elements. A few examples include double-wide sidewalks for improved walkability, bike lanes, and free community exercise classes to encourage movement. Water Street also provides convenient access to healthy foods through a local grocery store and a farmers market, offers free public Wi-Fi, features an extensive art program, and showcases beautiful native landscaping. 

Meridian Greenway | SPP

Water Street Tampa is still in development but has already earned countless other awards and distinctions. This year, the neighborhood’s office tower, Thousand & One, with accessible outdoor spaces, plenty of natural light, high water quality, and ideal indoor temperatures, became the first building in Tampa to earn WELL Core Certification and the first in the region to do so at the Gold level. The broader community garnered recognition for its outstanding achievements, including its public-private partnership with developers, the local government, and other community leaders, which earned it the Urban Land Institute’s Americas Award for Excellence in 2023. Also, its cutting-edge technology infrastructure allowed it to become the world’s first WiredScore SmartScore Precertified Neighborhood, and its desirable overall atmosphere earned it a spot on TIME’s “World’s Greatest Places” list for 2023.

Thousand & One | SPP